Los Angeles Hit-and-Run Accident Attorneys
Did Someone Flee the Scene of a Crash, Leaving You Injured? Call Us
In California, drivers who are involved in a collision are required to remain at the scene to make sure no one needs medical attention and to exchange contact information. When a driver fails to do this, it is known as a hit-and-run, and can have serious consequences for everyone involved.
If you or a loved one was injured by a hit-and-run driver in Los Angeles, know that you have rights. It can be more difficult to find the at-fault driver and hold him or her liable, so the sooner you report the accident, the better. The police are mostly interested in criminal charges, not recovering money for your injuries and property damage. That is why you need an experienced car accident attorney to fight for your recovery. Call Novik & Stanley, A Professional Law Corporation, at (818) 305-6041 today for a FREE consultation. You can meet with an attorney at our main office in Encino, or we can come to you if you are seriously injured.
Los Angeles Is the Hit-and-Run Capitol of the United States
Los Angeles is the "hit-and-run capital of the country," according to City Councilman Joe Buscaino. An NBC4 I-Team investigation found that hit-and-runs occur in L.A. every 18 minutes. In 2015, 50% of all vehicle incidents in L.A. County were hit-and-runs. The good news is that most hit-and-runs involve property damage. The bad news is they don’t always, and many pedestrians, bicyclists, and other drivers are seriously injured or killed every week.
A misdemeanor hit-and-run is defined by CA Vehicle Code 20002 as failing to:
- Stop after being involved in a collision that causes property damage, and
- Locate the owner of the damaged property and exchange information, or
- Leave information in a conspicuous place for the owner to find, if he cannot be located at the scene, and
- Notify the police or local law enforcement about the accident.
It is fine for the driver to move out of the way of traffic after a minor collision by pulling into a side street or parking lot, as long as he does not leave the scene.
A felony hit-and-run is defined by CA Vehicle Code 20003 as failing to:
- Stop after being involved in a collision causing injury or death to another person, and
- Provide information to the other parties in the wreck as well as the police officer on scene, and
- Render reasonable assistance to anyone injured in the collision, including transporting that person to the hospital if they request it.
Under no circumstances are drivers allowed to leave the scene of an injury accident until the police give them clearance to leave.
Always Remain at the Scene
It does not necessarily matter who is at fault for the accident – both drivers need to stay at the scene. When a driver flees, he is guilty of a hit-and-run. If you see someone else trying to drive away and you want to chase after them, resist the urge. Instead, try to note the license plate number and get a description of the vehicle. This will help the police track down the hit-and-run driver.
Criminal Charges vs. Civil Lawsuits
It is important to remember, however, that the police are essentially concerned with criminal charges. They might investigate what happened and try to track down the suspect to charge the driver with a hit-and-run, but that does not mean they will help you get compensation for your injuries or damaged property.
Insurance policies exist so you can be covered in the event of an accident. If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, it should cover the injuries and damage done by the at-fault driver up to your policy limits. If the police locate the person who hit you, you can file a civil claim against their auto insurance policy. If the driver pleads or is found guilty to a charge of hit-and-run, that will help prove your case. Regardless, you need the help of an experienced L.A. car accident attorney to get justice.
Call Us Right Now!
After a hit-and-run accident in Los Angeles, don't try to handle insurance companies by yourself. The legal system is complicated, and our knowledgeable lawyers can ensure your rights are protected every step of the way. Call Novik & Stanley at (818) 305-6041 to discuss what happened and learn about your options.
We'll fight to make it right!
Contact Us Today at (888) 355-5552 for a Free Consultation
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